Constant hands-on management is a time waster. The liberated CEO creates opportunities to lessen the load. Two ways to do this are to provide a preflight checklist of task responsibilities and then set up an automated workflow for project processes.
The Preflight Checklist
The preflight checklist ensures that what needs to happen is happening. Checklists remove employees’ stress since they don’t need to remember every detail of a task. Checklists are comprehensive and, if the task needs to change or your staff grows, can be adapted and updated easily.
Preflight Checklist Example: IRA to Roth Conversion
- Verify IRA
- Obtain conversion plan
- Establish Roth account
- Prepare conversion paperwork
- Obtain signatures
- Forward paperwork
- Confirm conversion
- Set evaluation follow-up
With such a checklist, employees won’t forget an important routine process step, and anyone can follow it. This frees your employees from memory overload so they can focus on the customer while having more time to be creative and productive. Having a checklist also allows you to pinpoint where problems surface.
The Automated Workflow
One you have a preflight checklist in place, automated workflows need to be created. An automated workflow is built into a client relationship management (CRM) system and is predefined so each step of the process is generated and then assigned to the right person.
The automated workflow works as a transaction assembly line:
- Informs and then assigns tasks to all employees involved in a process
- Provides employees the preflight checklist to follow so nothing is forgotten
- Examines and monitors work and will notify the manager if errors were made, a deadline or step was missed, or the process went over budget
- Records all actions and communications—for example, client notes, financial transactions and requests
- Analyzes and gathers data for future evaluation and compliance
This system is more efficient when multiple employees are involved on a project since there is no physical handoff of responsibilities and no missed or forgotten email communication. Automation disperses tasks to different employees, allowing a person to work at his or her own pace. And the workflow will notify an employee if someone is waiting on his or her task completion. Once the step is done, the system pushes that information to the next employee on the list.
Employees can go into the system at any time and discover where the project is in the process. This also allows them to inform clients of project progress and completion timeline. The liberated CEO can set down the project and forget about it. The system worries for you! If there is an issue, the system informs those involved.
Lessening the Load Benefits Everyone
No one benefits from micromanagement—time is wasted and employees lose confidence. Creating checklists and workflows for employee responsibilities and for company projects allows you to go on autopilot so you can focus on more important and bigger things.
Next month, we will talk more about the concept of setting it down and forgetting about it.